So I brewed up a batch of Yuri_Rage's Thunderstruck Pumpkin Ale on Sunday with my brew buddy. He's been brewing for around a year now and this was my 3rd batch, but I am a quick study. This was our first non kit brew so that was cool as well.
Anyhow I read that people were using a starter for the WPL002 yeast. We had used liquid yeast in a few of the previous kits, but never pitched a starter, but I decided to give it a shot. Well the starter went great even with my primitive equipment (a 2000ml Erlenmeyer flask, some vodka sanitized tin foil, an ice gel pack for cooling, and a 1/2 cup DME).
So we pitch the yeast (and shake aerate for 10 mins, twice as long as previous batches) at about 8:30 Sunday night. Monday after work I go to his place to check the fermenter, it's in a temp controlled mini fridge. As soon as I hit the garage I hear *THUMP* *THUMP* *THUMP* several times a second, and it's coming from the fermentation fridge!!! So I open the fidge, and it's:
GLORIOUS! Full on vigorous fermentation, forcing a ton of CO2 through our blow off tube and out the sanitized liquid in the mason jar (causing the heartbeat like thumping), the activity in the fermenter was wild. I was so proud of my yeasties I almost cried. All of our fermentations had gone ok in the past, but usually were slow to start and not nearly as impressive.
The moral of this story? Yeast starters and aeration is good. Big thanks to Yuri_Rage for the recipe and the recommendation to use a starter.
I love brewing.